Governor Otti launches 6.7km Port Harcourt Road reconstruction in Aba

Governor Alex Otti of Abia on Thursday officially marked the commencement of the reconstruction project for the 6.7-kilometer Port Harcourt Road in Aba.

This initiative aims to bolster the economic prospects of the state, and Otti emphasized its role in fulfilling his campaign commitments and reinvigorating economic activities in the area.

In Aba, during the event, Governor Otti declared his strong determination to ensure that upon completion, the revamped road would become a driving force behind economic revitalization, transforming Aba into an attractive destination for investors.

According to him, Port Harcourt Road holds great significance as a primary hub for servicing heavy-duty vehicles, machinery, spare parts, power generators, and related equipment, underscoring its crucial role in advancing the present administration’s reconstruction agenda.

  • “For us, Port Harcourt Road, Aba, is not just any other project, it will be a testament of our willingness and determination to rebuild ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated’ as contained in Isaiah 61: 4,” he said.

Otti noted that the road had suffered from neglect for a period spanning two decades, adding that the initiation of the project stands as a testament to the patience and dedication of Aba residents, demonstrating that their commitment to real transformation has finally borne fruit.

He encouraged the citizens to maintain an optimistic outlook, eagerly anticipating high-quality road infrastructure from the current administration. Otti firmly stated that the era of subpar quality and mediocrity is now behind them.

Comprehensive Port Harcourt Road reconstruction plan with Julius Berger

Governor Otti made it clear that the reconstruction project surpassed surface-level repairs. He emphasized the significance of a comprehensive road restoration, addressing persistent problems, particularly long-standing flooding, with the help of Julius Berger’s appropriate technology and expertise. The objective was to ensure long-lasting quality with minimal maintenance, enabling the road to support existing and new businesses for at least two decades after its completion.

  • In his words, “For the purpose of clarity, we are not just talking about pouring asphalt or doing any haphazard job just for cheap political capital.
  • “We have brought Julius Berger here for some well-defined reasons: to do a holistic job of fixing the road, addressing the age-long flooding problems, especially at notoriously problematic points using appropriate technology and expertise.
  • “We shall ultimately see to it with very minimal maintenance at regular intervals.
  • “This road shall continue to support the existing, new and returning businesses and their activities for at the very least, another 20 years, post-commissioning.”

Otti said that his government worked closely with the Julius Berger team to ensure that the technical design and specifications answered essential questions regarding durability, reliability, flood control, and other critical parameters.

He mentioned that the Inter-ministerial Committee had selected the project and rigorously reviewed bids while assessing the suitability of construction companies that had shown interest in it.

  • Otti said that “as agreed by all parties, this project has a delivery timeline not exceeding 18 months and my expectation is that whatever needs to be done to meet the target would be done, including working round the clock”.

The financing structure for the reconstruction project and Aba’s economic transformation

Governor Otti also mentioned that a robust financing structure has been established to ensure timely payments, thus eliminating potential setbacks arising from payment delays.

Otti emphasized the government’s determination to establish the right structures within the next 12 months, making economic opportunities in Aba irresistibly attractive for serious investors and improving the residents’ welfare.

Furthermore, he stated that the government was devising a suitable framework to reinvigorate moribund public and private businesses that once thrived in Aba, however, he noted that this would consider economic realities.

The governor urged residents to support government initiatives through regular tax payments, adherence to the law, and the protection of public assets against sabotage.

In closing, Dr. Lars Richter, Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, expressed gratitude to the state government for entrusting the organization with the responsibility of reconstructing the road.

  • Richter said:” I am looking forward to not only a successful commissioning but for a long standing partnership on other projects to deliver your vision to the people of Abia.”

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